Online reputation management services may be a no-brainer for the ardent marketer. If your reputation is important by word-of-mouth and other offline media channels, then it sure as hell should be important in the digital sphere. However, many company owners and individuals who aren’t as tech-savvy are having a difficult time grasping the concept.
Here’s why online reputation management (ORM) is important for your company’s or individual brand’s sustenance and how you can best integrate it as a key business strategy.
Being Present Online is Not Enough
It’s been a few years since companies have begun to engage with consumers online. From responding to social media reviews, to starting a blog where customers can comment and critique their products and services… It’s evident that the business realm has changed in a big way. Startups, medium-sized companies and conglomerate corporations have all taken to social media and the web. However, individuals should not get it in their head that simply being present on the web is enough. It’s time to take the wheel in your own hands and navigate the plunging ocean of reviews that surface up on sites that you may not even have on your radar. Because if you believe that you can simply ignore it, then you are very wrong. News flash: You need to invest more time and money into your brand’s most prominent customer touchpoints.
Transparency is Key
Take into consideration the below example of an American Airlines review taken on airlineequality.com. This is the first review that pops up on the site when searching for the company, and as you can see, it’s awful. Since consumers highly regard the opinions and recommendations of others, public announcements such as these can cost your company millions of dollars.
ORM is about monitoring reviews on social media platforms as well as on the search engine results page. Websites that have the purpose of congregating reviews and complaints about companies, such as Pissed Consumer, are likely to show up on the top of Google’s search results when the search engine sees a heavy level of interaction. Therefore, when people are searching for your company, they may come across bad news and never think again about whether or not they want to spend a penny at your mom and pop restaurant. Since ORM agencies are always monitoring your company’s brand image for positive and negative results, they would immediately tackle the bad review (if they see that it will benefit your company) before it gets to the point of no return. This way, your company is being transparent and indicating good customer service that potential clients will see and appreciate.
Removal is Possible
Sometimes reviews are defamatory and slanderous, feats that are considered illegal. These are the types of posts that ORM agencies are likely to get removed from Google for a one-time fee. However, if this is not the case then your best bet is to hire an ORM agency to suppress the bad news onto the second or third pages. We’ve gotten specific, long-tailed keywords past Google’s seventh page before, which is one of the most difficult types of contracts we’ve received. Remember, your business’ image on Google is more valuable than an employee business card.
The matter here lies in the importance of online reputation management. From social media to online articles, ORM experts are certain to keep your brand and your bottom line on track for a good year.